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Happy Birthday, Leo Stan!

I met him first in 1989 or thereabouts, at Imo Newspapers Limited, publishers of The Statesman, Sunday Statesman and Statesman Extra. I was an undergraduate Intern in the Editorial Department while he was a businessman trying to sell Desktop Publishing equipment to the company. We met in the office of the then Managing Director of Imo Newspapers, Prince Ford Ozumba, who went on to become both a personal and a mutual friend with Leo Stan.

Aggressive, suave, dapper, brilliant and very attentive to details, Leo Stan marketed the DTP equipment like it was the solution to every publisher’s problems. May be, but truth is he went on to sell the equipment not only to Imo Newspapers but 95% of  print media, publishing companies and Advertising agencies in Nigeria through his Task System Limited. And the rest, as they say, is history because he’s grown so big that he’s acquired the fitting moniker Bill Gates of Nigeria, in recognition of his pioneering innovations in the IT industry. He it was who brought Apple Computers to Nigeria.

As Executive Chairman of Zinox Technologies Limited, he’s better known for his Zinox Computers, which come with Naira sign on the keypad and power supply designed to withstand Nigeria’s erratic power supply. He also owns Technology Distributions Limited, which is the leader in Africa for ICT distribution. He is also a major investor in Yudala, an online shopping mall founded by his son. 

A very gifted Motivational Speakers, Leo Stan can keep his audience standing in ovations as he tells his rags-to-riches story. I realized that when we invited him to come speak to our top distributors during one of our Award Events-where he wowed the audience including some of the Indians in the management team in whose country, Punjab University to be precise, he obtained his undergraduate degree (a B.Sc. in Economics). 

A very godly man and a devout Roman (not roaming) Catholic, he built the Jesus, Mary & Joseph Parish church in his home town, Ubomiri, Ikeduru. He worships his wife, literally, whom he describes as a superstar for her brilliance. They are blessed with five children. 

Now check out the string of accolades he’s garnered since his entrepreneurial spirit moved him into various areas of ICT:

  • Icon of Hope (President Olusegun Obasanjo) 1 October 2002 
  • Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, OFR 
  • Fellow of the Nigerian Computer Society, FNCS 
  • ICT personality of the Year 
  • Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) Imo State University, Owerri 
  • Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) Federal University of Agric, Makurdi 
  • Doctor of Technology (Honoris Causa) Federal University of Technology, Owerri. 
  • Doctor of Science (Honorary) University of Jos 
  • Corporate Citizen of the Year Award 2002/2003, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria. 
  • Information Technology Personality of the Year 2002 Award (IT & Telecom Digest)
  • Fellow of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos.
  • Fellow of the Federal Polytechnic, Idah.
  • Fellow of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri, Imo State
  • Distinguished Fellow of the Nigeria Law School
  • 2003 Nigerian Science and Technology Achiever of the Year
  • Life Membership, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs
For a man who works as hard as he does, Leo Stan looks extremely good at 60. He’s quick to say he’s never tasted alcohol or smoked a cigarette and enjoys a healthy, active lifestyle made up of good food and regular physical exercise (as work and travel permits). And why not, having been brought up by a Dietician mother and now looked after by a caring, dotting wife, who must be determined to keep her man fit, trim and healthy forever.

In all of these accomplishments, Leo Stan is unassuming, humble and generous. Sometimes you wonder how he does it, taking the calls, returning the ones he missed and responding to text messages even in the dead of night. Above all, he gives all the credit for all he’s done and will still do to the grace and munificence of almighty God. 

Take a bow, big brother, friend and inspiration, as you mark your 60th albeit quietly.
Happy Birthday, Leo Stan! Happy Birthday, Leo Stan! Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Monday, February 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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